What benefits to life span have been incidentally derived from advances in medical technology? I think we're all aware of the underlying reasons for large gains in life expectancy - but comparatively little has been gained in the extension of healthy old age: "In 1900, the average 65-year-old could expect another 12 years of life, on average. A century later, in 2000, life expectancy post-65 had increased to 19 years for women and 16 years for men. Similarly, in 1900, 85-year-old Americans could expect an additional four years of life. By 2000, that statistic increased seven years for women and six years for men." Clearly, incidental life extension only gets us so far - we need more directed research into the untreated mechanisms of aging.